Inbox and Environment News: Issue 311

May 7 - 13, 2017: Issue 311

Amendments To Pittwater Local Environmental Plan

Proposed amendments are summarised as follows.
Amendment 1 – Clarifies a height control in Warriewood Valley that only applies to certain streets.
Amendment 2 – Specifies height limits for detached dual occupancies, rural workers dwellings and granny flats.
Amendment 3 – Amends the height limit on one property (individual letter to be sent)
Amendment 4 – Deletes a clause relating to Warriewood Sewerage Treatment Plant. This clause was deleted from the 1993 LEP but was put into the 2014 LEP as an error by the Department
Amendment 5 – Amends mapping relating to one property (individual letter to be sent)
Amendment 6 – This amendment is proposed to be removed from the planning proposal due to commentary already received from Roads and Maritime Services (Mona Vale Road Upgrades). It applied to one property.
Amendment 7 – Inserts higher detailed maps for Elanora and Newport commercial centres to better specify height limits. No actual changes to height limits.
Amendment 8 - Amends one clause relating to building on the foreshores
Amendment 9 – Allows an additional permitted use for ‘access structures ancillary to a dwelling’ to be constructed over land zoned for road widening. Portions relating to Mona Vale Road will be removed from the planning proposal due to commentary already received from Roads and Maritime Services (Mona Vale Road Upgrades). (individual letters to be sent)
Amendment 10 - Amends land zoning of Council land in Warriewood from R3 Medium Density Residential to RE1 Public Recreation (land has come into Council ownership – creekline corridor).
Amendment 11 – Removes a property from the land acquisition map. (Land has come into council ownership)
Amendment 12 – Changes the minimum lot sizes for three properties in Warriewood. (individual letters to be sent)

The current Pittwater Local Environmental Plan 2014 (PLEP 2014) was a translation of the previous Pittwater Local Environmental Plan 1993. However during the translation and implementation of the new plan, a number of minor errors were identified. A number of other ‘house-keeping’ matters to improve the plan have also been identified and are included within the proposal. This planning proposal intends to rectify those errors and improve the operation of the plan.

Read details of the changes:

Make a submission
• online  
• mail marked 'Minor Amendments Pittwater LEP' to Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 882, Mona Vale NSW 1660.

For any enquiries contact the Strategic Planning Team (Mona Vale) on 9970 1111.

Submissions close 22 May 2017

2017 Eco Schools Grants Program Open For Applications

Media release: 26 April 2017
Educators and school communities are once again encouraged to apply for an Eco Schools Grant to ignite and nurture their students’ passion to learn about the environment. 

Eighty grants of $3,500 each are now available under the NSW Environmental Trust Eco Schools Grants program, which has supported a variety of environmental projects in schools from waste management to worm farms for nearly 20 years.  

Office of Environment and Heritage Executive Director Ian Hunter said the grants help provide curriculum-based environmental education for children and the program proudly funded its 1000th project last year.

“Eco Schools Grants recognise the important work of educators in environmental conservation projects and I encourage schools to apply for one of the eighty grants,” Mr Hunter said.

“Research shows that when young people develop an appreciation of the environment early on it influences their behaviours later in life.

“Schools are uniquely placed to teach students about sustainability, why it’s important to take care of our environment and what good environmental citizenship looks like,” Mr Hunter said. 

Teachers from Bonnyrigg High School in Sydney’s west used their Eco Schools Grant to bring history and science to life through environmental education with a medieval food garden.

“Students learned about garden functionality, soil health and sustainable living. Science students also used the plants to study photosynthesis and helped their school create a resource to facilitate hands-on learning for years to come,” Mr Hunter said.

“Grants this year will be offered to student-focused environmental management projects, including water and energy conservation, recycling, bush regeneration, habitat improvement and food gardens.

“Schools are also encouraged to develop projects for students with special needs,” Mr Hunter said.  
Interested schools in NSW are encouraged to register on theSustainable Schools NSW website  and grant applications can be submitted until Monday 19 June, 2017.

All registered schools in NSW can apply for funding for new projects or a separate additional stage of a previous project. Schools currently delivering an existing Eco Schools Grant funded project are not eligible.

Photo - Bonnyrigg Highschool Eco Schools Grants Garden
Educators and school communities are once again encouraged to apply for an Eco Schools Grant to ignite and nurture their students’ passion to learn about the environment. Photo Courtesy OEH

Energy Locals For 100% Carbon Neutral Plans

From Surf Life Saving NSW  
Interested in 100% carbon neutral plans, huge solar feed in tariffs and Australian owned and operated in your energy provider? Look no further than SLSNSW's newest partner Energy Locals to see how they will revolutionise your energy plan:

Once Upon A Story - Narrabeen Story

by Onion TV Network
May 2nd, 2017
This unique 2 x 1 hour series observes life at the schools, witnessing the high expectations each has for its students both in education and sport, while spending time with coaches and teachers - past and present - to uncover the successful formula that provides Australia with a plethora of future sporting leaders, athletes and mentors.

Broadcast nationwide on Fox Sports in 2017, this fresh and informative look inside the Dept of Education’s Sports High Schools will break new ground in showcasing the greatest provider of future sporting talent outside of the AIS, while also acknowledging the role the schools play in nurturing outstanding young contributors to our society. This is the Narrabeen Sports High School Story...

Australian Students Chance To Fly To Antarctica: Name Our Icebreaker!

Media release: 3 May 2017 - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy
An Antarctic experience of a lifetime is on offer for Australian students who win a national competition to name the nation's new icebreaker vessel, with a flight to Antarctica on offer to the winning entry.

Up to 12 students will fly to Antarctica for a day, becoming the first children to set foot on the icy continent as part of the Australian Antarctic Program.

The winning students will fly from Hobart to Australia's Wilkins Aerodrome where they will meet Antarctic scientists, as well as expeditioners living and working at nearby Casey research station.

The 'Name our Icebreaker' competition has two categories: primary (years 5 and 6) and secondary (years 7 and 8) with classes able to enter their suggested name in a written or video format.

The competition will give young Australians the opportunity to name the sophisticated new Antarctic resupply and research vessel which will shape the future of Australia's Antarctic Program.

The icebreaker will be more than 156 metres long and accommodate 116 expeditioners. It will be equipped with an array of cutting-edge scientific equipment including a moon pool, multi-beam bathymetric echo sounders, hydrophones and underwater cameras.

Seven new curriculum-aligned modules about the icebreaker have also been developed on the Australian Antarctic Division's website, 'Classroom Antarctica'.

It is my hope this competition will inspire the Antarctic scientists and policy makers of the future, engaging them to learn about the Antarctic environment, climate, history and Australia's role there.

Entries in the 'Name our Icebreaker' competition will be judged by a panel of eminent Australians on criteria including originality, creativity, sincerity, appropriateness and alignment with the values, objectives and activities of the Australian Antarctic Program.

The competition opens today and closes on Friday 9 June. The icebreaker name and winners of the competition will be publicly announced in September 2017, with the prize flight taking place in November - December 2017.

The new icebreaker will replace the current ship Aurora Australis, also named by Australian school children, which has been an integral part of the Australian Antarctic Program since 1989.

More information for the name the icebreaker competition via

 Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy with Hawthorn West (Vic.) students at launch of Name our Icebreaker competition

New Puppies For NSW Police Force

May 3rd, 2017
The NSW Police Force has welcomed a new litter of puppies at the Dog Unit, and kids who are chronically ill will help choose their names.

The seven sable German Shepherd pups, four males and three females, were born on Wednesday 1 March 2017.

Six of the pups will be trained as general purpose dogs and one of the female pups will be sent to the New Zealand Police Force Dog Unit as part of the puppy exchange program.

Dog Unit Commander, Superintendent Dean Smith says the puppies are part of the ‘X’ litter and in keeping with canine recruit tradition, the six pups staying with the unit will be given names starting with the letter ‘X’.

“We are working with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead to give some of the kids who are chronically ill a chance to help choose their names,” Supt Smith said.

“A list of suggested names has been provided to the hospital and the kids will research their names and hold a vote.

“Once the most popular names are chosen, we will assign the names to the pups and take them on a social outing to the hospital so the kids can meet them,” Supt Smith said.

Minister for Police, The Hon Troy Grant MP says the puppies are a welcome addition to the NSW Police Force.

“Just like our men and women in blue, our police pups are some of the best in the world.

“The Dog Unit achieves amazing things, and before we know it these cute puppies will be strong, crime-fighting top dogs,” Mr Grant said.

The six pups will stay at the Dog Unit until they are about 12-weeks-old and will then be placed into the foster carer program until they are old enough to begin training.

The NSW Police Force Dog Unit was formed in 1932, but disbanded in 1954 before commencing modern day operations in 1979 and currently forms part of the NSW Police Force State Protection Group.

It is the largest police dog unit in Australia and its canine police officers include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherds, Labradors and English Springer Spaniels.

The Dog Unit’s breeding program has been running since 2004, and has bred 28 litters of German Shepherd pups, two litters of Labrador pups and two litters of English Springer Spaniels.

National Trust Awards Recognise Blue Mountains, Heritage Near Me And Hill End Projects

Media release: 2 May 2017
Nine years of work involving more than 100 contractors and staff has culminated in an award for Conservation Heritage for the Blue MountainsGrand Canyon Track at the National Trust Heritage Awards.

Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) Chief Executive Anthony Lean, said OEH picked up two other awards for a Heritage Near Me virtual reality project and a new visitor display at Hill End.

“The Grand Canyon Track in the World Heritage Listed Blue Mountains received the award for Conservation Landscape Heritage, acknowledging excellence in a project that is now almost complete after nine years of dedicated effort.   

“The Grand Canyon Track was officially opened in 1907 and now, more than one hundred years later, it seems fitting that its restoration project has received this honour.

“Building the track was an amazing feat in the early 1900s and while our staff have had the benefit of modern equipment, the restoration has also been no easy task, dealing with 1200 stone steps, very rugged terrain, multiple creek crossings and cliff climbs.

“Added to these challenges was the critical aim to protect the heritage fabric and traditional character of the original track work, while upgrading safety and construction to ensure visitors on the popular track are kept safe.

“OEH’s Heritage Near Me program was also recognised at the National Trust Heritage Awards, with a Highly Commended for its Our Heritage video project.

“Our Heritage is a virtual reality (VR) film, which explores the diverse heritage of NSW and its people.

“You can watch it Our Heritage here or catch the full VR experience at one of the Heritage Near Me Roadshow events which are occurring across the state.

“The new innovative visitor interpretation display at Hill End Heritage Centre “Alchemy: The lustre of Hill End” was also recognised in the Education and Interpretation category.

“The National Trust Heritage Awards recognised many important projects protecting heritage in NSW.

“It was very pleasing to see the work of OEH acknowledged as amongst the best in the state,” Mr Lean said.

Bushcare in Pittwater 

For further information or to confirm the meeting details for below groups, please contact Council's Bushcare Officer on 9970 1367

Where we work                      Which day                              What time 

Angophora Reserve             3rd Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Dunes                        1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 
Avalon Golf Course              2nd Wednesday                 3 - 5:30pm 
Careel Creek                         4th Saturday                      8:30 - 11:30am 
Toongari Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon (8 - 11am in summer) 
Bangalley Headland            2nd Sunday                         9 to 12noon 

Winnererremy Bay                 4th Sunday                        9 to 12noon 

North Bilgola Beach              3rd Monday                        9 - 12noon 
Algona Reserve                     1st Saturday                       9 - 12noon 
Plateau Park                          1st Friday                            8:30 - 11:30am 

Church Point     
Browns Bay Reserve             1st Tuesday                        9 - 12noon 
McCarrs Creek Reserve       Contact Bushcare Officer     To be confirmed 

Old Wharf Reserve                 3rd Saturday                      8 - 11am 

Kundibah Reserve                   4th Sunday                       8:30 - 11:30am 

Mona Vale     
Mona Vale Beach Basin          1st Saturday                    8 - 11am 
Mona Vale Dunes                     2nd Saturday+3rd Thursday     8:30 - 11:30am 

Bungan Beach                          4th Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
Crescent Reserve                    3rd Sunday                      9 - 12noon 
North Newport Beach              4th Saturday                    8:30 - 11:30am 
Porter Reserve                          2nd Saturday                  8 - 11am 

North Narrabeen     
Irrawong Reserve                     3rd Saturday                   2 - 5pm 

Palm Beach     
North Palm Beach Dunes      3rd Saturday                    9 - 12noon 

Scotland Island     
Catherine Park                          2nd Sunday                     10 - 12:30pm 
Elizabeth Park                           1st Saturday                      9 - 12noon 
Pathilda Reserve                      3rd Saturday                      9 - 12noon 

Warriewood Wetlands             1st Sunday                         8:30 - 11:30am 

Whale Beach     
Norma Park                               1st Friday                            9 - 12noon 

Western Foreshores     
Coopers Point, Elvina Bay      2nd Sunday                        10 - 1pm 
Rocky Point, Elvina Bay           1st Monday                          9 - 12noon

Myna Action Group 

Pittwater Natural Heritage Association (PNHA)
Indian Mynas - what a pest - like flying rats. 
Contact us on for more information and have a look at

Indian Mynas are displacing our native birds. 
They often nest in and around shops where their food source is. I took this one down this morning in Avalon (no chicks or eggs but I disturbed the female). There were literally hundreds of tiny bits of plastic in the nest which makes you think that all this plastic would be swilling down the stormwater drains into the sea.

What Does PNHA do?


On-ground bush regeneration. eg: Asparagus Fern Out Days
Activities: guided walks, bird-watching
Quaterly informative newsletter, online or paper
Members email group for leaset environmental news and events
AGM with Guest Speaker
Free advice for members on managing gardens for Native Vegetation and fauna habitat
Lobbies Pittwater Council and State Government on inappropriate management practices and development
Provides support to Council for PNHA-approved grant applications for environmental projects
Publications: Introductory Field Guide to Birds of Warriewood Wetlands & Irrawong Reserve, $20.00rrp, attractive cards with photos of Pittwater scenes, flora and fauna $2.00

Email: Or click on Logo to visit website.

Bird Walks And Talks 2017: PNHA

Come and see and hear some of our fantastic native birds, many of which you'll never see in your garden. Join in a Sunday guided bird walk with Pittwater Natural Heritage Association. All walks  start at 8am and end about 10am.

May 28, Warriewood Wetlands, meet at End of Katoa Close, north Narrabeen.
August 27 Chiltern Track. Meet at gate, off northern of Chiltern Rd Ingleside.
September 17 Irrawong reserve. Meet at corner Irrawong Rd and Epworth Rd.
November 26 Warriewood Wetlands. Meet end of Katoa Close, north Narrabeen. 

Bring binoculars if possible. Drink, hat and comfortable shoes.
More information contact or 
Ph Kerry on 0402605 721.

You don't need to book but if we know you're coming we'll watch out for you. Call if in doubt about weather as we won't go out if it's raining.

A Record High For Renewables Investment In Australia

Media release: 3 May 2017 - The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy
A report released today by the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) detailing Australia’s progress towards its 2020 renewable energy target reveals record high investment in renewables in 2016.

Large-scale renewable energy investment was five times greater than that of 2015.

More than $4 billion was committed over the last year, which in time will add more than 2000 megawatts of capacity to the grid.

Of the 98 new power plants accredited in 2016, 86 were solar, reflecting the rapidly declining cost and increased capacity of photovoltaics.

Small scale renewable investment was also strong with 182,000 new installations in 2016, many of which were in regional areas.

There are now across the country 2.6 million small scale renewable systems covering around 15 per cent of Australian homes.

These rooftop solar panels and household hot water systems generate over 5000 megawatts of power, nearly twice the size as the nation's largest power station.

This massive ramp-up in investment has seen Australia become a top 10 destination in the world for renewable energy projects ahead of other resource-rich economies like Norway and Canada.

Australia’s renewable energy target of 23.5 per cent by 2020 is now within sight, with the CER stating that “if this investment momentum continues in 2017… the 2020 RET can be achieved.”

Sydneysiders Urged To Listen Out For 'Powerful Owls'

April 7th, 2017
Beth Mott, Birdlife Australia is asking Sydney residents to report the presence of Powerful owls in their area.

Please report any sightings to 

If you are interested in becoming a Powerful Owl Project volunteer or would like to submit a sighting of a Powerful Owl, please

You can help us learn more about the Powerful Owls by letting us know if you see or hear one in your area (particularly around Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle, Central Coast,  Illawarra). Send an email (to the email addresses above) with your location (street address or GPS location), an attached photo or call recording (if you have it), details of when you saw or heard the bird, and anything interesting you noticed about where it was or what it was doing (e.g. holding prey, perched on a tree branch).

Caution:  rarely, some birds can get very aggressive while nesting and it can be very dangerous for people to be too close to the nest tree at night. If you come across a Powerful Owl nest hollow, use caution and please do not approach it (especially at night). Do not use flash photography at the nest as this may disturb the birds and cause them to abandon the nest.

Powerful owl Ninox strenua- picture by Paul Wheeler, 2014 - at Clareville. 

Call For Public Comment On Draft Seabird Threat Abatement Plan

15th March 2017
Public comment is now being sought on the draft Threat abatement plan for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations (Threat abatement plan for incidental catch of seabirds). The public consultation period is open until 30 June 2017.

The draft Threat abatement plan for incidental catch of seabirds provides a national strategy to guide the activities of government, industry and research organisations in abating the impact of oceanic longline fishing operations on seabirds in Commonwealth fisheries.

The consultation paper and related documents are available on theDepartment of the Environment and Energy website. Your comments on this consultation paper are welcome.

Further information about the existing Threat abatement plan 2014 for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations is available at the Threat Abatement Plan – seabirds page

A black-browed albatross with chick, on Macquarie Island. (Photo: Kim Kliska)

Department Seeks Community Views On Narrabri Gas Project Proposal

20.02.2017: Departmental Media Release - Department of Planning and Environment
The Department of Planning and Environment will today place on public exhibition Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project Environmental Impact Statement and is inviting the community to share its views.

Given the high level of public interest in the proposal, the Department has extended the normal exhibition period to more than 60 days. 

Mike Young, Director of Resource Assessments, said the Department will be consulting broadly on the proposal and is keen to hear from all individuals and groups interested in the proposal.

“We are making every effort to make sure people have an opportunity to hear about the project and give us feedback during this assessment,” Mr Young said. “There will be a number of opportunities to provide feedback including community information sessions and meetings with local landowners and interest groups.

“We want to hear people’s views - farmers, landholders, locals, Aboriginal groups, industry groups, councils. Everyone is welcome to make a submission and all will be read and considered in our assessment.”

Mr Young said as part of the assessment the Department will be establishing a panel of eminent scientific experts to provide independent advice on the proposal.

“These experts will be an integral part of the assessment process. Much of the information is of a scientific and technical nature and we are keen to get the best independent advice possible in assessing this project,” he said. 
“In addition, we will be working with other key NSW Government agencies and seeking advice from the Commonwealth’s Independent Expert Scientific Committee. Any issues raised in submissions will be looked at and taken into account.”

Given the high level of public interest in the proposal, the Department has extended the normal exhibition period to more than 60 days. It closes on May 22nd.

Following the exhibition period, the Department will comprehensively assess the submissions and the EIS.

The Narrabri Gas Project proposal involves a coal seam gas field with up to 850 gas wells to be developed progressively over 20 years, and a gas processing and water treatment facilities.

Santos’ Environmental Impact Statement is available on the Department’s website, and at all major centres in the region including Narrabri, Wee Waa, Gunnedah, Coonabarabran and Coonamble

Related information: 
  • Environmental Impact Statement for the Narrabri Gas Project
  • NSW Chief Scientist 2014 Coal Seam Gas Review
  • NSW Gas Plan
Narrabri Gasfield

Exhibition Start 21/02/2017
Exhibition End  22/05/2017

Department Seeks Community Input On Hume Coal Project Proposal

30.03.2017: Departmental Media Release -Department of Planning and Environment
The local community in the Southern Highlands is encouraged to give feedback on an application for an underground coal mine that will go on public exhibition today.

The Department of Planning and Environment is exhibiting the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) application for the Hume Coal Project for an extended period of 90 days, beginning today until 30 June.

Clay Preshaw, Director of Resource Assessments, said members of the community are encouraged to give feedback as part of the community consultation process.

“Every submission is read and considered as part of the Department’s assessment of the EIS,” Mr Preshaw said. “We are seeking feedback from the public and a wide range of stakeholders. We encourage any landowner, individual or group to share their views on the Hume Coal Project and Berrima Rail Project with us.

“There is a high level of public interest in these applications and we understand the EIS is a lengthy document - that’s why we are going above and beyond in seeking community input.”

Mr Preshaw said the Department had arranged public information sessions, giving the local Southern Highlands community a chance to meet with Department representatives in person.

“Information on the assessment process will be provided and department officers will be able to answer any questions the public may have about the planning process,” he said. “We will also meet with special interest groups during the exhibition period.
“The Department assesses all applications on their merits, in accordance with the planning legislation and all relevant NSW Government policies and guidelines.”
Mr Preshaw added that the Department will apply a rigorous, scientific approach to the assessment of the proposal and seek the best advice available from independent experts.
“At this stage, the Department will seek advice from experts in the fields of groundwater, mining, subsidence, and economics. We will also be seeking expert advice from specialist government agencies.”
The Hume Coal Project proposals involves a new underground coal mine extracting up to 3.5 million tonnes of coal a year over 19 years. The associated Berrima Rail Project involves the extension of the Berrima railway line to connect the proposed mine to the Main Southern Railway.
For more information please visit the Major Projects website

If Victoria Can Ban CSG, NSW Can Too!

By The Wilderness Society
Coal seam gas (CSG) threatens our water, our health and our climate. Many jurisdictions around the world are permanently banning this dangerous industry, most recently Victoria. We do not need or want risky coal seam gas in NSW. 
It’s clear that the industry has no social licence in our state, yet vast and critical areas—as well as human health—are still under threat from CSG across the state.

Call on the new Premier Berejiklian and the new Planning Minister Roberts to follow Victoria's lead and ban this harmful and risky industry in NSW. 

HAVE YOUR SAY ON THE FUTURE OF  Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, Lion Island Nature Reserve, Spectacle Island Nature Reserve And Long Island Nature Reserve

April 7, 2017: NPWS
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is one of the most popular national parks in NSW, with over 2 million visits each year. The existing plan of management for the park was written in 2002. Since that time much has changed. There has been a steady increase in visitors coming to the park, new recreational uses have become popular, information about the values of the park has improved, and new approaches to managing fire and pests and weeds have been developed. 

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) manages Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Lion Island Nature Reserve, Spectacle Island Nature Reserve and Long Island Nature Reserve under one plan of management, which can be accessed here. The plan of management is a legal document that sets out future directions for a park (or group of parks), management actions to be undertaken, and the types of uses that are allowed.  

We are now starting the process of preparing a new plan of management for these parks, and we want to hear the community’s views and ideas.  

To find out about the plan of management and to register your interest in receiving updates during the preparation process, please go to

There will be opportunities to provide input to the plan of management, including exhibition of a draft plan for public comment.

If you have any queries or would like more information please email 


Sunday, May 7, 2017
9:00am – 6:00pm

International Permaculture Day is annually celebrated around the world on the first Sunday in May. It is Australia's best export!  Join us on the Northern Beaches for three inspiring open garden tours as well workshops on aquaponics, coffee making, bee keeping and much more.

Please start this fantastic day at easily the biggest permi garden around! This humongous garden is set on the beachtop headland, spanning three properties, and consists of a vast array of fruit trees, huge raised beds, chickens, worm farms, self watering systems, honey and native bees and a huge pool to pond conversion with over 200 trout.
10am-10.30am - AQUAPONICS TALK with Charlie Bacon from ECOLICIOUS
Aquaponics refers to any system that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics in a symbiotic environment. Ever wanted to grow your own fish to eat, harvest your veges and have it almost completely sustainable, well now you can with this amazing system. Please join Charlie and the Bungan crew around the pool for this interesting talk, we may even get time to throw a line in.
Join the crew to learn and talk in the ancient art of saving seeds , Bring your own, swap and buy seeds all grown locally.
12.00-12.45 - GARDEN TOUR with Matt Wilson
Another fantastic garden with over 35 fruit and nut trees, a lot of them exotic. A unique sloping block with an aquaponics system built into the landscape, chickens, ducks, ponds plus bee hives scattered throughout the garden. The bonsais are maintained by integrated water systems and it also keeps the veggies from drying out. Loads packed in, come check it out.

12.45- 1.30 - HONEY BEE TALK with HONEY I'M HOME
Join award winning honey experts Mark and Caroline on a talk about bees and honey! How they make it? Why? The importance of pollination and the state of our bees. Bring your questions and take home some local raw honey.

2pm-3pm - GARDEN TOUR
Just up the road lies our final garden , another hugely productive level garden with numerous established fruit trees all bearing fruit. Dragon fruit, pomegranate and persimmon just to name a few.  A vast array of veggies but a spectacular coffee hedge laiden with beans is the true attraction.
3pm-4pm - COFFEE TALK
Why do we pay $4.50 for a coffee? Because there actually is a load of work involved before that sweet nectar hits our lips, come and learn how to harvest, dry, shell, roast, grind and FINALLY pour the perfect coffee. With a professional barista on call all day to serve it up, this hands on experience will be one to remember.
2pm – 5pm TIME TO PARTY!
So bring the kids, let them dance to the live music in the garden, enjoy a wine or a cuppa, talk to experienced gardeners from Permaculture Northern Beaches who will be available at the permaculture stall, along with other various stalls, fun kids activities, plant sales, raffles and many more.

Get involved with Permaculture & your community on the Northern Beaches!
Please note the gardens opening and closing times as there will be a strict “gates closed” policy, except the last one, which may run into the night…
Entry to gardens is by donations with all proceeds going back into your community group Permaculture Northern Beaches.

Six Thousand Pairs Of Pelicans Nesting Near Balranald

Media release: 1 May 2017 - NSW NPWS
Thousands of pelicans have been nesting in the lower Murrumbidgee valley for the first time in recorded history.

On an exposed bank in the middle of a swamp near Balranald in south-western NSW, 6000 pairs built their nests and are now raising a new generation of pelicans. The amorous birds took up residence at the site following floods late last year.

The breeding site is located within the Nimmie Caira – a lower Murrumbidgee floodplain wetland system with numerous flow paths which can deliver water to key wetlands throughout the floodplain.

The Murrumbidgee valley pelicans are a separate colony to the 4000 pairs also breeding in inland NSW at Lake Brewster, some 350km away.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has been working with the local water and land managers to co-ordinate the delivery of 10,000 megalitres of Commonwealth and NSW environmental water to the site to provide protection and food for the pelicans.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said large bird breeding colonies such as this one were a sign that the entire ecosystem is booming.

“Large pelican colonies are a rarity in the Lowbidgee floodplains and we understand that this colony is the first of its kind,” said Mr Papps.

OEH had been delivering environmental water to the lakes surrounding the site before the recent floods, building up the health of the lakes and their fish populations and providing ideal places for the adult pelicans to feed.

Environmental water manager at OEH, James Maguire, said that when the flood waters began to recede, the site had to be ‘topped up’ with environmental water to ensure the young birds could reach maturity.

“Pelicans are notoriously fickle when it comes to water levels surrounding their breeding sites,” Mr Maguire said.

“If there was a risk the birds might abandon their nests if the water got too low.

“Pelicans do not breed regularly, but when they do, they might breed two or three times in that season which is why supporting this impressive breeding event is so important.”

Please note this lake is not accessible to the public.

Photos by and courtesy of Vince Bucello/OEH.

Welcome Back Darling! Anabranch Converges With Murray River

Media release: 5 May 2017 - Office of Environment and Heritage
Environmental flows down the Darling Anabranch from Lake Cawndilla have converged with the Murray River downstream of Wentworth creating a fish highway not seen for three years.

Graeme Enders, South West Regional Director at the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) said around 70 gigalitres of environmental water has been released since mid-February and now connects the lake to the Murray River.

“It’s been three years since the Darling Anabranch received environmental flows and already we are seeing high numbers of juvenile golden perch moving into the main river,” said Mr Enders.

“News that the flow had converged with the Murray was confirmed by landholders who have been monitoring the movement of water across their properties.

“It’s been a true community, collective monitoring event where each week we received updates, photos and videos from landholders along the Anabranch announcing that the water had arrived.

“OEH has since engaged the services of the Murray Darling Freshwater Research Centre to determine fish movement along the length of the Anabranch by tagging fish and tracking their movements via receivers at various fish ways,” Mr Enders said.

The water has been sourced from Commonwealth environmental water and NSW water holdings and will slowly wind down as other system users start their irrigation regime.

Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder David Papps said flows in the Anabranch were now 100 per cent environmental water.

“It’s important we take the opportunity to move water through different parts of the system at the right time, to help native species such as golden perch to reach into newly accessible habitat to survive and thrive.

“This means the benefits extend beyond the local environment—in this case upstream and downstream through the Murray system,” Mr Papps said.

Irrigators, landholders and recreational fishers were taken on a tour of the Anabranch and earlier this week with OEH, the Department of Primary Industries Fisheries and the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder.

One Darling Anabranch landholder, Gus Whyte, said seeing the water arrive at Wyndham was very exciting.

“With the Anabranch being dry for so long it is so good to have water in front of our house, and see the birds, fish and plants that come with the flows,” Mr Whyte said.

“The fact that the Anabranch is now connected to the River Murray is just wonderful and I’m sure the yabbies and fish are happy as well,” said Mr Whyte.

Long Lost Monitor Lizard 'Re-Discovered' On Papua New Guinean Island

May 2, 2017: CSIRO
Scientists have recently found and re-described a monitor lizard species from the island of New Ireland in northern Papua New Guinea. It is the only large-growing animal endemic to the island that has survived until modern times. The lizard, Varanus douarrha, was already discovered in the early 19th century, but the type specimen never reached the museum where it was destined as it appears to have been lost in a shipwreck.

Varanus douarrha. Credit: Valter Weijola

The discovery is particularly interesting as most of the endemic species to New Ireland disappeared thousands of years ago as humans colonized the island.

The monitor was discovered during fieldwork by Valter Weijola from the Biodiversity Unit of the University of Turku, Finland, who spent several months surveying the monitor lizards of the Bismarck Islands. It can grow to over 1.3 metres in length and, according to current information, it is the only surviving large species endemic to the island. Based on bone discoveries, scientists now know that at least a large rat species and several flightless birds have lived in the area.

"In that way it can be considered a relic of the historically richer fauna that inhabited the Pacific islands. These medium-sized Pacific monitors are clearly much better at co-existing with humans than many of the birds and mammals have been," says Weijola.

French Naturalist Discovered the Species in 1823 -- Lost in Shipwreck
Scientists have known for a long time that there are monitor lizards on the island but it has been unclear which species they belong to. French naturalist René Lesson discovered the monitor lizard when visiting the island with the La Coquille exploration ship in 1823, and later named the species Varanus douarrha which, according to Lesson, means monitor lizard in the local Siar-Lak language.

However, it seems likely that Lesson's specimen was destroyed on the way to France as the ship that was carrying it shipwrecked at the Cape of Good Hope in 1824. Therefore, biologist never had a chance to study the so called holotype -- or name-bearing specimen.

"Since then, it has been believed that the monitor lizards on New Ireland belong to the common mangrove monitor (Varanus indicus) that occurs widely in northern Australia, New Guinea and surrounding islands. However, new morphological and genetic studies confirmed that the monitor lizards of New Ireland have lived in isolation for a long time and developed into a separate species," says Weijola.

The discovery was published in the Australian Journal of Zoology and where Varanus douarrha was re-described in detail, and given a new name bearing specimen.

Another monitor lizard, Varanus semotus, was described from Mussau Island last year by the same team of scientists.

"Together, these two species have doubled the number of monitor lizard species known to occur in the Bismarck Archipelago and proved that there are more endemic vertebrates on these islands than previously believed," says Weijola.

Monitor lizards are important predators and altogether approximately 90 different species are known to live in Africa, Asia, Australia and the Pacific islands. Most monitor lizards occur in Australia and on the Pacific islands where there are few mammalian predators. Despite their large size, many of the species are poorly known and new ones are regularly discovered. Most of them stay out of sight and inhabit remote areas which are difficult to access.

Valter Weijola, Fred Kraus, Varpu Vahtera, Christer Lindqvist, Stephen C. Donnellan. Reinstatement of Varanus douarrha Lesson, 1830 as a valid species with comments on the zoogeography of monitor lizards (Squamata:Varanidae) in the Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea. Australian Journal of Zoology, 2017; DOI: 10.1071/ZO16038

How urban bushland improves our health and why planners need to listen

Image 20170415 25898 12vocil
Diverse bushland and wetlands in urban areas contribute to the health and wellbeing of all residents. Author providedAuthor provided
Pierre HorwitzEdith Cowan University

Urban bushland has health benefits beyond being a great place to go for a walk. It filters our air and water, helps cities avoid extremes in temperatures, and is linked to lower rates of chronic disease. The Conversation

But these and other health benefits are virtually never accounted for in local and state land development processes.

Urban planners need to consider these health benefits when making decisions about the future of our cities.

What Do We Mean By Urban Bushland?

Urban bushland ranges from a bush park of native trees, to wetlands – in fact any native vegetation characteristic of the local region. With its undisturbed soils and associated wildlife, urban bushland is more diverse than other types of green spaces in our cities, like parks. So it adds significantly to neighbourhood biodiversity.

The more unfragmented the landscape, or unaltered the bushland, the more likely it will be to retain its biodiversity. Hills, watercourses and gullies, or a mixed forest, have greater biodiversity than flat land or a plantation of trees. Landscapes that change by the season add to that diversity.

The health benefits of green spaces (and urban bushland) partly comes from this biodiversity.

In cities, health benefits work at two levels. Not only do local residents receive health benefits when they use urban green spaces, the wider urban population also feels the health effects.

Healthy Locals

The closer residents live to green space, particularly if it is accessible or usable, the better they report their health.

For an individual, access to green spaces contributes in multiple ways: it reduces stress, it helps us recover from illness or injury, and our thinking abilities improve when we are more contemplative and mindful of our green surroundings.

Our health improves when we use green spaces for physical exercise. And we benefit from the social engagement involved in caring for them.

The quality of green spaces plays a role in the health benefits for locals. For example, views of diverse vegetation more effectively lowers stresscompared with less-diverse vegetation.

Exposure to biodiversity from the air, water, soils, vegetation, wildlife and landscape, and all the microbes associated with them (the sort retained in uncleared bushland and wetlands) enhances our immunity. This is thought to be the key to the health benefits of nature.

Wealth And Health

The relationship between health benefits and living close to urban green spaces, including urban bushland, might be interpreted as being an effect of wealth. We know wealthier people tend to live in greener suburbs and wealthier people tend to be healthier.

But many studies take wealth into account, with the weight of evidence suggesting a direct health benefit from exposure to biodiversity.

So if the health benefits are due to the urban green spaces itself (and not related to wealth), they should be spread more evenly across the population.

Perhaps the health of poorer city dwellers will improve by living near to diverse green spaces, like bushland. Failing to provide access to natureentrenches health inequalities.

Healthy City

Urban bushland provides health benefits not just for local residents but for the whole city.

Forests and woodlands clean our urban air by removing particles and absorbing carbon dioxide. This reduces premature death, acute respiratory symptoms and asthma exacerbation across the city.

A recent review highlights the host of physical health problems that are reduced in urban areas with more nature, including less heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Mental health is also improved in urban areas where people are living with more green space.

Urban bushland, like this in the Western Australian city of Joondalup, provides health benefits to locals who access it and the wider population. Author provided

Urban bushland improves city water. Wetlands and the vegetation around them clean our water by filtering, reducing exposure to pollutants carried in groundwater or surface water run-off.

Vegetation also moderates extremes of temperature providing shade when it is hot and less exposure when it’s cold and so reduces heat- or cold-related illnesses.

Shrinking Urban Bushland

Where new suburbs are developed on the outskirts of cities, the end result is usually near-complete clearing. Urban bushland is replaced with smaller, fragmented, more sanitised, open and neat spaces.

These are designed for a narrower (but still important) set of usable attributes, like a bike path, lawns and a playground. But the original values of the bushland are lost. This pattern is repeated in the expanding suburbs of cities across Australia.

If some urban bushland, wetlands or other landscape assets have been retained, the pressure on them from development is relentless, as seen recently in Western Australia where a highway is due to be extended through the Beeliar Wetlands.

Planning For Better Planning

Planning processes need to use ways to assess what we might lose and what we might gain from clearing bushland.

This could involve asking what types of services existing bushland provide for local residents and the city in general. These will include their role in providing clean air and water, controlling floods, cycling nutrients, as well as their recreational or spiritual services.

These could be compared with services the proposed development offers. The comparison should make decision makers, and more importantly the public, better able to judge the true worth or cost of a development.

Such cost-benefit analyses are usually used somewhere in planning processes but rarely, if ever, are the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services considered, or the cost savings from health benefits of bushland.

These sorts of cost-benefit analyses can also be used to account for the health effects associated with local bushland. Such health assessments (or health impact assessments) need to be more widely used. And where land subdivision, road building and suburban housing developments are planned, health assessments may need to be compulsory to better account for the contribution of urban bushland to health.

See also tomorrow’s article on green spaces in our cities

Pierre Horwitz, Professor, School of Science, Edith Cowan University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Get Ready Australia… ABC’s War On Waste Starts In May

April 20, 2017: ABC
Australia generates a staggering amount of waste every year and alarmingly our waste is growing at double the rate of our population. Presenter and provocateur Craig Reucassel (The Chaser) tackles this growing issue in the thought-provoking, three-part series War on Waste, premiering Tuesday 16th May at 8.30pm on ABC and iview.

No stranger to confrontation, Craig takes on the supermarkets, challenges Australians to go waste free, discovers what really happens to our recycling and how Australia’s obsession with fast fashion is causing an even faster waste problem.

He tackles the immense problem of food waste, with millions of tonnes of food from our homes, supermarkets, farms and businesses ending up in landfill every year, uncovering why we are throwing out so much food and what we can do about it.  Plastic bags are causing a huge problem for the environment and with over 4-5 billion plastic bags thrown out every year, Craig explores how we can do things differently.

The daily morning coffee fix creates nearly a billion disposable coffee cups which end up in landfill each year, so Craig starts a campaign to reduce this unnecessary waste stream. #ByoCoffeeCup

To gauge our nation’s current attitudes and habits toward waste and recycling and how they may change after watching War on Waste, a public survey has been launched. The survey will help to understand where Australians are at and where we need to go to create change. You can access the survey at:

It’s time for all Australians to wake and declare a War on Waste.  With some simple ideas and small changes, we can all do our bit to care for the world we live in now and into the future.

Avalon Boomerang Bags 2016 Workshops

Boomerang Bag Working Bees run in Mona Vale onTuesdays 11:30am- 5pm.

For those of you unable to come to workshops there are many other ways to get involved, just let us know you're willing by leaving a comment or sending us a message.

Pictured is a Boomerang Bag Box. 

The boxes are located at:

Avalon Organics
Hertford Chemist
Avalon Wholefood
Fresh Fruit and Veg
Johnson Bros Mitre Ten
Avalon Meats
Avalon Rec Centre
Watch this space for another venue soon.

A huge thank you to everybody who has helped Boomerang Bags Avalon get this far. But the work is not over yet. Materials and more hands always welcome  Facebook page  Profile

Big Red Kidney Bus Embarks On NSW Holiday Tour

01 May 2017: NSW Health Minister, The Hon. Brad Hazzard 
Patients living with kidney failure can now plan holidays without the worry of missing life-saving treatment, with the launch of the first mobile dialysis service in a bus.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government has provided more than $382,000 for up to 250 patients a year to receive dialysis on the Big Red Kidney Bus, which will tour popular holiday spots across NSW.
“It is tough enough living with kidney disease, without being tied down to your home and unable to take a break due to the restrictions of dialysis,” said Mr Hazzard.
“This fantastic service means that patients can plan a trip or travel to see friends and family and still be able to receive life-saving treatment.”
The Big Red Kidney Bus, a partnership between Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) and Kidney Health Australia, is a state-of-the art unit fitted with three dialysis chairs and will provide about 1,500 dialysis treatments a year when at full capacity.
The bus will complement the state-wide service currently delivered through RNSH’s Sydney Dialysis Centre.
Mikaela Stafrace, CEO of Kidney Health Australia, said almost 3,000 people in NSW are living on haemodialysis, however many more are at risk of kidney disease.
“Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms and can affect people of all ages. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, weight problems, people of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, smokers and those with a family history of kidney problems should ask their doctor for a Kidney Health Check every two years,” said Ms Stafrace.
Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch is delighted the first stop for the Big Red Kidney Bus will be one of the best-known getaways in NSW.
“The Central Coast has become the destination of choice for holiday makers in NSW so we are thrilled the bus will allow people on dialysis and their families to holiday here,” said Mr Crouch.
The bus will stop for six weeks in each holiday location, beginning in Umina (15 May- 24 June), Nelson Bay (3 July-1 August), Coffs Harbour (21 August-30 September) and Ballina (9 October-18 November). Bookings can be made be made by contacting Kidney Health Australia or by calling 1800 454 363.

2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards

The works of today’s leading Australian writers have been shortlisted for the 2017 NSW Premier's Literary Awards, the State Library of NSW announced today [Wednesday 26 April 2017].

Thirty judges considered a record number of over 600 of entries across 11 prize categories, with the winners to be announced on the eve of the Sydney Writers’ Festival on Monday 22 May 2017. $310,000 in prize money will be awarded.

NSW Premier, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP said: “The NSW Government is committed to supporting and recognising Australian literary talent through the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. The strength and variety of this year’s shortlisted works makes for fascinating reading and reflects the stories and experiences of our diverse society.”

2017 Senior Judge Suzanne Leal commented that: “In their breathtakingly diverse works, the nominees confirm that the world of Australian literature is sparkling. Showcasing storytelling at its finest, these works remind us that words matter and writers deserve to be treasured.”

Government To Build Western Sydney Airport 

02 May 2017
Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull
Minister for Urban Infrastructure, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP
The Turnbull Government today confirmed that it will build Western Sydney Airport.

Details of the Turnbull Government’s plan to build Western Sydney Airport will be announced by the Treasurer in the Budget next week.

This follows today’s announcement by Sydney Airport Group, the owner of Kingsford Smith Airport, that it will not take up the opportunity under its ‘right of first refusal’ to build and operate the new Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.

It is a vitally important project for Western Sydney, for Sydney, and the nation, which is why the Coalition Government ended decades of indecision by committing to the project in 2014.

The Government has worked carefully to meet our obligations and we have been planning for either contingency – acceptance or rejection by Sydney Airport Group. We are well positioned to move forward on terms that are consistent with the terms of the Notice of Intention.

The airport will be a major catalyst for jobs and economic growth in Western Sydney, injecting more than $1.9 billion into the economy during the construction phase alone.  It is expected to deliver 9,000 new jobs to Western Sydney by the early 2030s, and 60,000 in the long-term.

Consultation meetings with Sydney Airport Group were conducted in an atmosphere of good faith. 

Unique Focus Of New Cardiovascular Research Centre

2 May 2017: UQ
Repairing damaged heart and vascular tissues will be the unique focus of a new University of Queensland research centre, established to combat cardiovascular disease.

The UQ Centre for Cardiac and Vascular Biology (CCVB) brings together eight laboratories researching cardiovascular development, regeneration and disease.

The centre will be officially launched in Brisbane today (6pm Tuesday 2 May) during Heart Week.

Associate Professor Ben Hogan from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB), said the CCVB recognises the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to cardiovascular disease, which kills one Australian every 12 minutes.

“These labs have diverse expertise but are united by the common goal of advancing knowledge in cardiac and vascular biology to reveal new opportunities to fight heart disease,” Dr Hogan said.

“This is the future of research – experts from different disciplines coming together to make discoveries and pursue them through to clinical outcomes.”

In 2015, more than 45,000 Australians died as a result of cardiovascular disease, almost 30 per cent of all deaths.

Professor Wally Thomas from the Faculty of Medicine said the centre could make a difference for those with congenital heart defects and vascular disorders, damaged caused by heart attack and coronary heart disease.

“The university already has an impressive core group of cardiac scientists, and the CCVB will help us to attract and retain world-leading cardiac research talent in Queensland,” Professor Thomas said.

“Our research focus on the repair of damaged cardiovascular tissues is unique in Australia and could make a global difference through new knowledge and therapies.”

UQ scientists involved in the CCVB published research in March about creating functional human heart muscles from stem cells which have the capacity to regenerate following injury.

The past two Heart Foundation Queensland Researchers of the Year have come from UQ, which also has several Heart Foundation Future Leaders Fellows.

The CCVB includes labs from IMB, School of Biomedical Sciences within the Faculty of Medicine, School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, and the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.

TEDxSydney 2017

Our flagship TEDxSydney event is a unique and vital day of talks, films, music and debate, and is one of the largest TEDx events in the world.

TEDxSydney 2017 will take place on Friday 16 June at our new home at ICC Sydney, Darling Harbour, allowing us to welcome a record number of attendees into our TEDxSydney community.

It is clear that 2017 is a time of great flux and disruption. Many of our beliefs are being challenged, or even turned completely upside down, for better or for worse. In times such as these, it feels as though we need guidance, inspiration and hope more than ever before.

TEDxSydney has always believed in ideas that can change the world. Our speakers, curated from a wide cross-section of disciplines and backgrounds, don’t just argue for change; instead, they show us how to make change real.

As an attendee, you’ll get the chance to witness, first-hand, the unique TED-style combination of transformative talks delivered in a vibrant and passionate community atmosphere. You’ll also watch a stellar live program featuring some of our country’s finest musicians, along with a hand-picked selection of new Australian short films, created especially for TEDxSydney.

The day would not be complete without a special TEDxSydney food program (morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are all included in the registration price), the one-of-a-kind TEDxSydney Tote Bag (filled with books, gifts and special treats) and the chance to meet other members of the TEDxSydney community and exchange ideas, foster friendships and kickstart collaborations.

We are thrilled to announce our initial line-up of Australian speakers who will be sharing their bold ideas on 16 June at ICC Sydney.  This first announcement features an eclectic group of 10 speakers along with some of Australia’s most highly-acclaimed and fearless musicians. They are:
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of the software company Atlassian
  • Uncle Jack Charles, award-winning actor, Aboriginal elder and musician
  • Jordan Raskopoulos, comedian, actor, singer and co-creator of The Axis of Awesome
  • Sarah Houbolt, Paralympic swimmer and circus performer
  • David Hunt, award winning Australian historian, satirist and author
  • Tom Griffiths, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Berkeley University
  • Bronwyn King, Australian radiation oncologist
  • Scott Griffiths, researcher of male body dissatisfaction and eating disorders
  • Judy Atkinson, community worker and academic in the fields of violence, trauma and healing
  • David Power, helping to end the threat of illegal fishing and overfishing to Pacific Island communities
  • Sarah Blasko, acclaimed singer, songwriter, musician and producer
  • Gawurra, award-winning Yolngu singer-songwriter
  • Ngaiire, one of Australia’s most unique and fearless musicians
More speakers and performers, as well as details of our Film program and Fast Ideas pitch competition, will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event.

TEDxSydney is designed as a full-day event. Price for attendance in 2017 is held at 2016 prices – standard attendance is $350, and a limited number of concession places are available at $175. Registration includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, as well a TEDxSydney tote bag with exclusive attendee-only merchandise.

Attendance to TEDxSydney 2017 is open to all TEDxSydney Members on a first come, first served basis.

TO REGISTER, click below to log in to your Member Profile. Once logged in, you’ll find an option to  Register Attendance for 2017.  Please ensure that your Member Profile is up-to-date before registering.

Construction Of The Great Northern Highway From Hornsby To Hawkesbury River (1928)

Published on 20 Sep 2015 by RMS Road Projects
1928 silent film about the construction of Hornsby to Hawkesbury River section of the Great Northern Highway.

Consumers Warned About Investment Scams Promising To Assist Access To Trust Funds

Tuesday 2 May 2017: by ASIC
ASIC urges the public to be wary of cold callers claiming that their investment proceeds have been stopped by ASIC and are being held for them in a trust.

These calls are being made by individuals based overseas and are scams. ASIC warns anyone who receives unexpected contact in this way or a similar manner to simply hang up or delete the email and block the sender.

These scams request that individuals provide further funds while their profits are being held in a trust by ASIC.

ASIC has recently seen an increase in complaints about this particular scam.

If you think you have been a victim of this scam or believe your account may have been compromised, you should contact your bank or financial institution immediately.

ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell said, 'These scams are constantly evolving and are becoming more sophisticated in their efforts to convince unsuspecting consumers.' 

'Once the money paid to these callers goes overseas, it is almost impossible to recover. We strongly urge consumers to be wary of these scams and to be extremely cautious of any follow up communication.'

Protect yourself:
  • If you receive an unexpected phone call or email claiming you are entitled to reclaim money for a fee, hang up or delete the email and block the sender.
  • Never send money or give your financial details to someone you don’t know and trust.
  • Keep in mind that government departments and financial institutions would never ask you for your personal details via unsolicited email or text message.
  • If you’ve provided your bank account or credit card details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
You can report scams via the report a scam page on SCAMwatch or by contacting ASIC via our website, or on 1300 300 630

World Celebrates Fan Favourite Fish

2 May 2017: AFMA
Today marks the first inaugural World Tuna Day, so it is the perfect time to start planning your next delicious tuna salad, seared tuna steak, or succulent tuna sashimi made with tuna caught from a Commonwealth managed tuna fishery.


While celebrated since 2012, last year, the United Nations General Assembly voted unanimously to make 2 May a day of world-wide celebration of these global species.

CEO, Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Dr James Findlay, said that species like southern bluefin, albacore, bigeye and yellowfin tunas were all caught commercially in Australia under strict rules and regulations.

“With AFMA’s strict rules and regulations, and basing decisions on the best available science, tuna lovers can be assured that if they are buying or eating Australian caught tuna that it is from a sustainable, well-managed fishery,” Dr Findlay said.

“Strong regulations combined with an equally strong commitment from industry to ensure their future has seen healthy catch limits across both the Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery (ETBF) and the Southern Bluefin Tuna Fishery (SBTF) recent years, which is great news for tuna lovers.

“Not to mention that tuna is a great source of lean protein, omega-3 and good fats.

“In addition, across Australia, our tuna industry supports many local economies and provides jobs in major landing ports like Port Lincoln, Mooloolaba, Ulladulla and Coffs Harbour.”

This year, World Tuna Day coincides with the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) meeting, providing a great opportunity for Australia to discuss important fisheries management topics with our nearest regional neighbours. As we all know, fish don’t have passports, so international management of these global species is crucial.

Find out more about AFMA managed fisheries at

Council Of The Australian National Maritime Museum Appointments

2 May 2017: Media Release - Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield; Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts, Manager of Government Business in the Senate

The Turnbull Government has announced the appointment of Ms Alison Page and Mr David Blackley as part-time members of the Council of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) for a period of three years each.

Ms Page is a descendant of the Walbanga and Wadi Wadi people of the Yuin nation and a leader in contemporary Australian design. Ms Page established her own interior design studio in 1999, founded the National Aboriginal Design Agency and has won numerous awards including an International Federation of Interior Architects Award and Australian Jewellery Design Award. She is currently a Director of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Land Corporation and Chair of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.

Ms Page has also served as a member of numerous boards, including the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Peoples, the Museums and Galleries NSW Board and the Australian Museum Trust. In addition, Ms Page was a panellist for eight years on the ABC television program The New Inventors which showcased Australian innovation.

Ms Page’s expertise in contemporary Australian design together with her experience in the delivery of culturally appropriate architectural services will assist the ANMM in its development of a sustainable master plan for the future, as well as providing valuable support and advice to the Museum in the development of its indigenous collection and education initiatives.

Mr Blackley was Chairman of Clemenger BBDO in Melbourne and National Creative Director across the company’s offices in Australia and New Zealand. Under his leadership, Clemenger BBDO won “Australian Agency of the Year” award eight times. Mr Blackley was also inducted into the Australian Advertising Hall of Fame in 2015 for his achievements in the advertising industry.

Mr Blackley’s knowledge of communications, advertising and fundraising will assist the ANMM in its endeavours to increase its revenue through strong fundraising and attracting greater audiences.

The Council is responsible for the performance of the ANMM and its exhibition and preservation of Australian maritime heritage.

For more information about the Council visit

Next Generation Of Agriculture’s ‘Can-Do’ Attitude Key To Shaping The Industry’s Future

02 May 2017 RIRDC
Australian agriculture’s young leaders are ready to tackle the industry’s biggest challenges and are stepping up to help shape an industry that is set for staggering growth.

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has met with more than 150 of these young agriculture industry leaders over the past six months at a series of events held in every state and territory. The Regional Innovation Conversations series, which followed on from the 2016GrowAg summit, has brought these young people together to discuss issues affecting the agriculture industry, the trends shaping its future and how to optimise for growth.

RIRDC Managing Director Mr John Harvey said the Regional Innovation Conversations have demonstrated that there is enormous talent and enthusiasm in the next generation of agriculture leaders.

“While their main focus is on building their own businesses and delivering valuable services and information to the agriculture sector, these 150 young leaders are helping to define the future of a rapidly changing and growing industry.

“I was energised by their enthusiasm, impressed at their determination to succeed and admired their practical, ‘just get it done’ attitude. They are dynamic, entrepreneurial and commercially savvy.”

Over the course of its Regional Innovation Conversation series RIRDC identified a number of key themes that resonated again and again with the audience of young agriculture leaders:
  • Technology is driving rapid industry change and has tremendous potential to increase productivity and efficiency, but there is a risk of Australia being left behind if the capital is not available to invest in technology.
  • Lack of internet connectivity remains a barrier to technology adoption in regional areas, but people are finding their own solutions often bypassing traditional service providers and carriers.
  • Entrepreneurship and investment in innovation are the new normal, particularly in the agtech and support services sector.
  • Skills diversity and more people working in agriculture are critical to future success and industry growth.
  • Agriculture’s image is shifting, it’s no longer just about the traditional farmer, and this trend needs to continue to showcase industry diversity, attract people with the required skills and capitalise on international business opportunities.
  • Social media is the main source of information gathering and connecting for young leaders in agriculture, but there is also a critical need for them to build real networks and create their own supportive culture of innovation, practice change and risk taking.
Mr Harvey said, “It became clear to us over the course of the events that these young people are succeeding and shaping the future of the industry.

“The question we are now faced with is how do we support this cohort of young leaders and help them to keep pace with the skills, research, information and technology they will need to keep Australian agriculture thriving?”

Disclaimer: These articles are not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Pittwater Online News or its staff.